She was fortunate enough to spend time hiking in the Drakensberg mountains (South Africa) with her family on school holidays. Caravan camping, river swimming and going long arduous hikes from sunrise until sunset. This is where her love of mountains and being immersed in them began.
Having a dad who was a long-distance marathon runner and coming from a sporting family, Sam started to take interest in how the body works and how we can improve and reduce injury. She studied podiatry at university and spent many hours looking at how she could better the performance for professional and recreational athletes as well as herself.
It wasn’t until Sam graduated university that she tried skiing for her first time. She was hooked and in the first years of her podiatry career would spend each vacation travelling to Canada, New Zealand and in Australia to ski. The lifestyle and community that folks built around skiing was the appeal. She found herself wondering how she could integrate feet, body and her clinical biomechanics background into the ski industry.
During this process, Sam discovered that women were underrepresented in the hardgoods sales, design and priority in the ski industry, and outdoor industry in general. She decided to push herself to be a representative of women in the industry and an advocate for not only female identifying consumers, but those working in the world of hardgoods retail, and particularly bootfitting.
It was a wrestle for many years to be accepted by colleagues and customers as a knowledge base for ski boots, biomechanics and knowing how to fine tune the body. She was determined, and with the support of Leslie Baker-Brown from the global Women to Women program, Sam is living out part of her dream. Being a voice for women and be able to work on product that has legitimacy for women consumers in skiing and the outdoors.
Through the highs and lows of balancing where she felt like she fit and continues to find that area within the outdoor industry, Sam is forever grateful for the majestic beauty of the outdoors providing inspiration, nurturing and relief in all our lives.